Here are my rankings of tonight's "American Idol" performances.
1. Melinda - She's so far ahead of everyone else. She's a great singer--certainly the best of the season--but I still have doubts about her marketability. I was hoping she would choose a more contemporary song to show that she can be hip, but instead she went with Donna Summer. Maybe she can bring back disco?
2. Lakisha - In the battle of the divas Lakisha is an also-ran. She doesn't have the maturity or the instincts of Melinda. She's a belter but she needs to harness her voice. She also seems to be singing the songs as carbon copies of the originals rather than interpreting them.
3. Chris R. - There's a gap between him and Lakisha, but I really thought he was the third best performer tonight. I swear it's not because he's hot. It helps. Chris is a Justin wannabe and his voice tends to be flat. It's like he's stuck in one gear and can't make it go faster. "Don't Speak" probably wasn't the best song choice, but he sang it well and impressed me in parts.
4. Jordin - The No Doubt songs were problematic tonight. I doubt they are the best songs to sing to show off singing ability. Jordin did a credible job with "Hey Baby," but I wasn't sold that she could sing it. She's not a rock princess.
5. Gina - Shaky at parts, but she showed off her voice tonight. When the judges tell a contestant to "know who you are," what they really mean is to be what they want you to be. Gina picked that up and went with a song that would show off her voice. Decent vocal.
6. Haley - Kind of pretty but also bland. She's very marketable, as her legs can attest, and she has a decent enough voice to make her a potential pop star. At the very least, she could be a Pussycat Doll.
7. Blake - I really don't get the love for Blake. He seems smug. His singing is also rather off-putting. He got away tonight covering 311 covering the Cure (a copy of a copy?) and got praised for originality because the judges don't seem to listen to the radio at all. At least the song had no scary high notes. However, his vocal affectations were worse tonight. He's a one-trick pony.
8. Phil - He creeps me out. I hoped he would sing "Bad Day" tonight, but instead he performed a toothless "Every Breath You Take." Much better than last week but still unimpressive.
9. Sanjaya - Not the worst tonight. He actually does have potential. When he reached the chorus he was on point. There's a sweetness to his voice that shows up at times. If he took lessons he might actually be decent. Tonight he was mostly awful. But I did like the hair. Too bad he didn't have the cred to pull off the look.
10. Chris S. - I've noted before that he always seems to be singing to a different track than the one played by the band, and the judges finally called him on it. It was so obvious when he sang "Endless Love." He deserves to go home. He's dead weight.